Sunday Morning Quotation

Apropos of North Korea’s bluster, the following from Kenneth Waltz – the arch realist – in his co-authored book The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate:

Deterrent strategies lower the probability that wars will begin.  If wars start nevertheless, deterrent strategies lower the probability that they will be carried very far.  Nuclear weapons lessen the intensity as well as the frequency of war among their possessors.  For fear of escalation, nuclear states do not want to fight long and hard over important interests – indeed, they do not want to fight at all.  Minor nuclear states have even better reasons than major ones to accommodate one another and avoid fighting wars.  Worries about the intensity of war among nuclear states have to be viewed in this context and against a world in which conventional weapons have become even costlier and more destructive.  (page 37)

One thought on “Sunday Morning Quotation

  1. This might be a little more comforting if I weren’t 60 miles from the North Korean border right now.

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